Mitzvah Day 5780

Tzedakah in more than 22,000 ways

A huge thank you to everyone: Wise Hall looked abundantly full on Mitzvah Day, when we all came together as one Temple community to volunteer, side by side. In the space of a morning, we accomplished an amazing mitzvah: 2,200 gift packages were assembled with love, ranging from dignity kits to Purim treats for the troops. You made it possible! Each congregant who participates in this huge undertaking makes the entire effort easier for others and a great success overall. It showed in the many smiling faces who took pride in their ability to make a difference in someone else’s life. As we baked cookies, created Chemo Angel gift bags, packed Welcome Home packages for those who are moving from transitional housing to an apartment of their own, and continued many other wonderful efforts in Wise Hall concurrently, we also welcomed 50 guests for a Bagel and Bingo Brunch in room 402. Again, a huge thank you to Phyllis and Norden Hahn and the volunteers who prepared the food for all to enjoy. 130 volunteers were in attendance, not including our helpful Religious School students. What an amazing turnout!

Temple Emanu-El’s Philanthropic Fund supports this remarkable mitzvah. Through that generous funding — and with your help — Emanu-El is able to touch the lives of so many people. Although what we can do only meets a fraction of what they may need, our efforts show them that they are not alone and may put a smile on their faces, even briefly. The organizations we serve have been carefully chosen and I have personally met with them all. All the items we package are those that organizations have requested.

I would also like to express my deepest thanks to Mark Heutlinger, Tony Shkreli, Jesus Toribio and the entire maintenance staff. They are our partners in every aspect of Tikkun Olam. Without their constant willingness to help us every step of the way, this mitzvah would not be possible. I would also like to thank Marlene Yokel and Lori Villi for their support, many hours of hard work, commitment and friendship.

I want you all to know that from the bottom of my heart, I am so grateful to each and every one of you for your devotion and dedication to helping serve those who are in need of our assistance.

In life, there are no sure bets, except that volunteers like you will rise to the occasion and make the world a better place.

With true appreciation,
Susan Kaufman, Tikkun Olam Committee Chair

This piece was originally published in the January/February 2020 issue of our Temple Bulletin.